National Nonprofit "Let Grow" Celebrates New Laws Protecting Parents Who Let Their Kids Play Outside

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Oklahoma and Texas Pass “Reasonable Childhood Independence” Bills

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“Many of us have heard the stories of parents getting investigated – or even arrested – for letting their kids do something as simple as walk to the park on their own. The passing of these bills is a double-header for parents and kids,” said Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow.

Both Oklahoma and Texas passed “Reasonable Childhood Independence” bills on Wednesday, narrowing their neglect laws to ensure parents can let their kids play outside, walk to school, and be home alone without being accused of neglect. Let Grow, a national nonprofit promoting childhood independence, provided research and legislative resources to support the bills.

“Many of us have heard the stories of parents getting investigated – or even arrested – for letting their kids do something as simple as walk to the park on their own. The passing of these bills is a double-header for parents and kids,” said Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow. “Over the years, many parents have told us that they really want to let their kids go climb a tree or run an errand, but they’re afraid someone could call 911 and open an investigation on them. So they keep the kids inside! These laws ensure the authorities will not mistake old-fashioned childhood freedom for neglect. Even better, they free up resources for serious neglect cases.”

The Reasonable Childhood Independence bills – HB2565 in Oklahoma and HB567 in Texas, were inspired by Utah’s “Free-Range Kids” bill, the nation’s first law stating it’s not neglect for kids to do things on their own when they’re sufficiently mature.

Also on Wednesday, a Reasonable Childhood Independence bill, SB143, received a very positive reception at the Nevada’s Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services, after it already passed the Senate there.

To access legislative resources related to child neglect laws, please visit letgrow.org/advocacy.

About Let Grow
Let Grow is a nonprofit promoting childhood independence as the key to resourcefulness and resilience, founded by Free-Range Kids pioneer Lenore Skenazy, research psychologist Dr. Peter Gray, former chairman of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Daniel Shuchman, and NYU Prof. Jonathan Haidt, co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind.” Let Grow’s thought leadership, school programs, research, writing, speaking and legislative advocacy give parents, educators, and communities the tools and confidence to step back, so kids can step up. Let Grow has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, PBS and more. To learn more about Let Grow, visit letgrow.org.

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Lenore Skenazy
Let Grow
646.734.8426
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